Lacombe AA Generals lack discipline in overtime loss to Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs

Patrick Turville of the Lacombe AA Generals battles next to the net with Jordan Baillie of the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs while trying to put the puck past Chiefs goaltender Garrett Kindred during North Central Hockey League action at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex in Lacombe on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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A lack of discipline cost the Lacombe AA Generals the extra point and a much needed first win of 2020.

On Saturday, the Generals fell 4-3 in overtime to the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex in a game that could’ve brought them within two points of being in the mix for third place in the league, and had been their victory until the third period.

“Penalties and playing undisciplined definitely cost us the game,” said Generals Head Coach Jordan Koopmans. “We started really well, just in the later half of the game we were really undisciplined and gave them life that cost us the game.”

The Generals got on the scoreboard midway through the first as Scott Maetche chipped the puck past Chiefs goalie Garrett Kindred.

Shortly after, despite weathering some extra pressure from the Chiefs on a penalty kill, Generals Captain Jared Williams fired a rebound past an out-of-position Kindred to give the team a 2-0 leading heading into the dressing room.

Despite having a fast-paced, aggressive first period, the team didn’t come out the same way in the second, and a snap from Brandon Dubuc brought the Chiefs within one.

While Scott Doucet scored for the Generals with the man advantage in the first half of the third, the Chiefs Jamie Marshall scored a powerplay goal of his own in response, and about four minutes later Shamus Graham tied the game on another powerplay.

Graham ultimately scored the game winner, also on the powerplay, in overtime with 1:30 left on the clock.

Goaltender Mackenzie Engel stopped 37 of 41 shots, while Kindred saved 26 of 29 shots.

“I think we just stopped moving our feet and using our stick and took a lot of undisciplined penalties,” Koopmans said.

“We just needed to stay out of the box and get some momentum. Playing five-on-five, we outplayed them for the majority of the game. Playing shorthanded, it’s hard to get any momentum back.”

The Generals will now hit the road Jan. 11 to face the Bonnyville Sr. Pontiacs (1-9-0-1), while their final home game will be on Jan. 17 against the Daysland Northstars (7-4-0-0) at 8:15 p.m. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. They will wrap up the season in Devon against the Barons.

With just three games left on the schedule, the Generals goals for 2020 are simple: to win every game.

“We need to stay disciplined. We’re most successful when we roll four lines, and we wear down team and everyone’s contributing. We’ve had fantastic goaltending so far and they gave us a good chance to win tonight, so if they give us that chance to win every night, and we stay out of the box, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be winning,” Koopmans said.

In other NCHL action, the Blackfalds Wranglers (4-7-0-1) fell 7-3 to Bonnyville on the road Saturday night. They also played the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs on the road Sunday.

The Wranglers next game is Sunday, Jan. 12 when they’ll host Daysland at the Bentley Arena at 2:30 p.m. Their final game of the regular season will be on Sunday, Jan. 19 when they take on the Red Deer Rustlers at the Blackfalds Multi-plex Arena. Puck drop is at 3:30 p.m.

Josh Smith of the Lacombe AA Generals is pursued by Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs Captain Jamie Marshall during North Central Hockey League action at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex in Lacombe on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

A puck slips past Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs goaltender Garrett Kindred during North Central Hockey League action at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex in Lacombe on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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